Miami County runners compete at state cross country meet


OBETZ — Troy seniors Renee Kovacs and Braden Coate wrapped up their season and prep cross country careers in the D-I races at the state cross country meet at Fortrezz Obetz and Memorial Park Saturday.

Kovacs finished 52nd in 19:11.1 in the girls race.

“Renee had a great race to cap off the season and her high school cross-country career, Troy girls cross country coach Kevin Alexander said. “It’s hard not to get caught up in the moment of being at the state meet and going out too fast at the start but Renee kept calm and executed a sound race strategy. She moved up throughout the race going from 110th at the first time check to 78th place at the mile and then 50th at the two-mile mark then holding on to finish 52nd overall racing against many of the best high school distance athletes in the state.

“Renee’s maturity, commitment to consistent training, and diligence in regards to doing the small things have allowed her to earn the right to compete at the state meet. I couldn’t be more proud of Renee and how far she has come in her four year career at Troy.”

Coate finished 130th in the boys race in 16:59.8 after battling back from stress fractures the previous two seasons to make it to state.

“Braden was battling a cold for most of the week so unfortunately he wasn’t able to come into the state meet at one hundred percent,” Troy boys cross country coach Phillip Matthews said. “I thought Braden really battled it out during the race and gave everything he had left out on the course. The state meet gets out fast but that let Braden catch kids that went out too fast.”


Annie Sinning couldn’t have thought of a much better way to finish her high school cross country career.

After finishing 34th last year as a junior, Sinning came back with her entire team Saturday and earned All-Ohio honors, finishing 13th in 18:45.8.

“I am really happy with my race,” Sinning said with a big smile.

She accomplished the goal she had been shooting for her entire career.

“That (being All-Ohio) is something I have always wanted since I began (running in high school),” she said. “I really like this course. It is pretty flat the first two miles.”

Tippecanoe girls coach Bryon Kimmel couldn’t have been happier for Sinning.

“Annie emerged last year as a front running threat in winning the MVL title,” Kimmel said. “However, this year she took her training to a new level. One of our assistants, Hailey Dunn, really mentored her and provided her with confidence.”

She lead Tipp to a 10th-place finish as a team.

“As far as the team goes, we came over here and wanted to go out and give our all and that’s what we did,” Sinning said.

Tippecanoe’s other runners included Shelby Hept, 63, 19:51.5; Gracie Wead, 67, 19:57.9; Isa Ramos, 111, 20:47.7; Libby Krebs, 117, 20:56.3; Leda Anderson, 120, 20:59.0 and Katie Landis, 150, 21:47.0.

Kimmel also was pleased with the team’s performance.

“We had our number two runners from last year (Alex Foster) decide to do soccer only,” Kimmel said. “Our top freshman, Audrey Kinninger was injured early and missed the entire season. The team overachieved. Annie (Sinning) provided a solid front runner force that helped mold the team.

“Leda Anderson emerged as a strong runner and Libby Krebs improved to solidify our top five.”


The Long family of Covington had a big day in the D-III races.

Covington sophomore Asher Long earned All-Ohio honors in therace, finishing 25th in 16:25.6.

His sister Elyza Long, he sister, finished 35th in 19:38.1.

“We had an amazing couple days at Obetz. It was a great experience for our two qualifiers and their teammates that came to support them.” Covington cross country coach Josh Long said. “We could not have asked for a better way to end their seasons. They both ran their personal best and exceeded expectations with their overall places in the meet.”

Asher Long achieved his goal of making All-Ohio.

“I worked really hard to make it to state and I was super happy with my efforts at the end of this year,” he said. “I knew I would have to go out a little quicker at this meet, but I also knew I would have to run my own race.

“My first mile was the fastest one that I have ran all year and I felt really good, so at that point I thought I had a really good shot at finishing in the top thirty and earning All Ohio honors, which I thankfully did. It was a great experience for Elyza and I and I am had a great time with our teammates that came to support us.”

Elyza Long ran a PR in the girls race.

“I feel really blessed to have made it to state and to have finished my freshman year with the best race of my running career so far,” she said. “The race itself was a great experience and the overall atmosphere of the state meet was incredible. I also am very thankful that many of my teammates were able to come and share this experience with me.”

Also in the D-III girls race, Newton senior McKenna Downing finished 5oth in 19:52.2.

“McKenna ran her race just the way she needed too,” Newton cross country coach Aubrey Hughes said. “Her ability to balance her nerves and show up ready to race was impressive. She ended her season (career) with a 30 second PR. In preparation, we knew the first mile was going to be fast so she had to mentally prepare herself for mile one.

“In the second mile she knew she needed to remain focused so that she didn’t settle. She was aware of the athletes that were going to be around her so she was able to use that as a focus point and she could continue to move up. She was able to use everything she had to finish her race. I am proud of her entire season. As a senior and first year cross country runner, she did phenomenal.”

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